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Summer in the garden

Ballerina flowers of FuchsiasIt's summer and everything just grows. We like that! Many gardeners feel that after the flush of spring summer gardens tend to go more green than colourful. With a bit of planning one can add many of the summer perennials and flowering plants to add contrast to the mix. Here are some of the things that caught our eye and how to get rid of that pesky beetle chewing the leaves, making them into lace at the moment.


Fuchsias are also called ballerina flowers because the flowers look like the beautiful dancers in tutus and gowns in all the shade of pink white and purple. The beauty of fuchsia flowers might lead you to believe that they are sun - lovers, but this is not true. The ideal conditions for fuchsias are sun in the morning or semi-shade all day. Strong midday sun stresses the plants and is best avoided. In particular, many of the light and white coloured blooms will be affected if exposed to too much sun.

Coral bells

Look for unusual leaf tonesCoral bells have been revitalised with new varieties on the market bred for their extraordinary striking foliage and as a hardy perennial they make a great addition to any garden. Their evergreen leaves have scalloped edges and through summer, tall, thin flower stalks rise up with tiny blooms on them, giving a frothy look. Different leaf colours and flowers in coral or white make them irresistible and if deadheaded they flower repeatedly well into autumn.

Chillies make it hotter!

Chillies grow best in hot dry sunny spotsChillies come in all shapes, sizes and colours ranging from tiny extremely hot chillies to the larger fleshy peppers. This is the best time of the year to select as you can harvest almost immediately. In our family it's always a challenge to see who will eat the hottest but somehow afterwards they always make it into the meal.
Chillies will grow in some light shade but grow best in hot sunny spots in a well-drained soil. Chillies do not need much water at all. Water them once or twice a week and keep them slightly dry between watering. Feed with Nitrosol or any other organic plant food, this will produce stronger plants with better flavour than plants that are forced with chemical fertilisers.

Clivia and rose protection

Christmas beetles come out at night!Don't forget to protect your Clivias from the destructive amaryllis worm burrowing through the leaves before you go away. Roses too are the target of the Christmas Beetle chomping the leaves into lace this time of the year.
The only way to successfully stem the damage is to use a systemic insecticide which penetrates the leaves and stays there for a few days. We recommend Efekto Plant Protector. As a leaf systemic that works immediately when you have a problem and can also be sprayed every ten days or so as a preventative. Alternatively you can drench with it and it will take a few days and then move through the roots to the leaves.

Weeds are easy to eradicate

Get the weeds in paving before they seedWeeds in paving are best sprayed in the early part of the day. Weed killers are systemic herbicides that get sucked into the plant through the leaf and then killing them. The key to quick results is to make sure the weeds stay dry after spraying and the sun through the day will help the poison to be absorbed into the leaves. Roundup is a non-selective weed killer and will kill all weeds along with surrounding plants so be careful when spraying. If you need to spray weeds in lawns use the broadleaf weed killer Hormoban, which won't kill the grass.

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